We evaluated the rate of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in gastric carcinomas of Korean patients and investigated the associations between EBV infection and clinicopathological characteristics, the survival rates of patients, and p53 overexpression. EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER)-in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry for p53 protein were done in 306 consecutive gastric carcinoma cases, of which 17 (5.6%) showed EBV infection. Of these 17 EBV-positive cases, one case strongly expressed p53 protein, while 98 (34%) of 285 EBV-negative cases overexpressed p53 (p < 0.05). The EBV-positive gastric carcinomas tended to have lymphoid stroma. They were mostly of the poorly differentiated type, negative for p53 immunoexpression, more prevalent in male patients, and diffuse according to Lauren's classification (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the survival rate for the EBV status. In conclusion, the EBV infection rate among gastric carcinomas in Korea is similar to that ascertained in other countries. An inverse correlation between EBV and p53 overexpression was disclosed. Further study is needed to find out whether or not two genetic changes could be functionally overlapping during gastric carcinogenesis.